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Guest: Andy Weir; Topics: Andy's new book, "Artemis" plus space policy, lunar issues, lunar and space economics and much more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back to the show Andy Weir for this two segment 88 minute discussion about Andy's new book, "Artemis." In addition, we discussed space policy, lunar economics and development issues, and many related ideas for human space exploration including privately developed launch vehicles, lowing the cost to LEO, and cislunar transportation development. We started the discussion by asking Andy why he chose to focus on the Moon and a lunar colony named Artemis. Part of Andy's explanation resided in the fact that it was plausible to have an economically based lunar settlement of some sorts so that seemed the logical stepping off point for developing a story around a sustainable space colony. Andy described Artemis for most of the first part of the show, including the fact that it was established by the Kenya Space Corporation and what that meant via legal, regulatory, and enforcement issues. As you will hear, international maritime law forms the basis of Artemis but he said it was essentially lawless. Other thing he pointed out included the fact that robberies were rare as currency was all digital. He had much to say during the first segment about life and structure on Artemis, including even answering a listener question about children and pets on Artemis so make sure you listen carefully to our discussion.
Other first segment topics included a description of the Apollo 11 Visitor Center, the Artemis population of 2,000 residents plus about the same number of tourists, space tourism as the Artemis main industry, and the wide open society which he described, even with brothels. He also noted that in the Artemis 20 year history, there had only been 5 murders. He then pointed out that people found breaking the rules were immediately deported to the country of origin of their victim.
Kim from Mexico sent in a few email questions relating to Jazz, a main character in the book. This prompted a discussion with Andy about the character development in Artemis including that of Jazz. Andy got a few questions wanting to compare Mark from The Martian to Jazz. This was a fun discussion so don't miss it. Kim also wanted to know about the shielding and lunar colony construction. Don't miss what Andy said about the Artemis bubble construction.
Phillip sent in an email asking about the book dedication and astronaut John Young. Larry from Fresno asked about water on the Moon and the Artemis colony, especially being mined from lunar water ice. Andy had much to say on this subject and his answer may surprise you so be sure to listen to this mini discussion. Before the first segment closed, a New York City listener asked Andy if people on Artemis had found any trace of ET or UFOs visiting Artemis. Andy's response was short and was no.
In the second segment, I asked Andy if he thought our space policy should be to go back to the Moon to stay. Andy said he favored anything that would lower the cost of getting to LEO and cislunar transportation. He suggested that all sorts of new, viable, and economic opportunities would arise based on lowered LEO access costs. He also said space tourism was the current market drive but lower space access costs would enlarge the field of opportunities.
A listener asked Andy if pets (dogs and cats) and bigger animals like hoses would be welcome on Artemis. He said yes but then went into interesting economic analysis regarding Artemis food, importing food to Artemis which the wealthy might do, and the economics of animal food. He said there was no agriculture on Artemis and talked about processing a form of algae for human food, doctored by flavorings. Animal food would be very costly.
Listener Beverly in Chicago asked Andy if he thought real lunar colonies would be established within a 5-10 year period from now. He said no and explained why. Don't miss his comments. I asked him if he thought I was proper for government using tax payer money to seed and fund the initial development of getting space settlement started. He said yes but listen to his full explanation. A question or two about the OST and property rights came up plus a listener wanted to compare using Artemis to The Martian for educational outreach . Andy said The Martian was much better for that. Don't miss why he said that.
John from Montana called with a few questions from the book about chloroform and water recovery from sewage. Dallas called in to praise Artemis, the story, and Andy. We then asked Andy about a follow up story. We learned that he has already signed a contract with Fox for film rights and is working on multiple ideas for a follow up. I asked him about his writing day. He said he tries to write about 1,000 words a day which is about 3-4 paperback pages. From start to publication the time line might stretch toward two years. During his closing comments, he asked a few interesting questions about what time in history we might choose to live in rather than our current time. Don't miss his exercise. Do participate in it. He also brought up an impartial challenging question that I will ask on the next Open Lines show regarding Donald Duck.
Please post your comments/questions for Andy on TSS blog. You can reach him through me.